Registration is the most visible function at your conference, and sets the tone for the rest of the event.

The registration process is key to providing accurate and up-to-date information on anticipated attendance at all conference activities. Attendance guides projections for budget, food, and beverages. The information gathered at registration will also help advise future conference committees.

Registration fees

As summarized from IEEE Policy 10.1.15:

  • Registration fees for non-members at IEEE sponsored conferences shall be at least 20% above the IEEE member fee. The exact amount is set by each conference Committee.
  • Conferences may establish a registration fee lower than the IEEE member fee for the members of the sponsoring organizational unit (OU).
  • IEEE member registration rates may apply to members of non-IEEE co-sponsoring organizations or sister societies.
  • The application of the fee differential paid by non-members at the conference may be applied toward IEEE membership enrollment. Conference organizers can coordinate this arrangement with IEEE Membership Services by contacting them at
  • A reduced conference registration fee may be offered to students, unemployed IEEE members, retired and Life members, and special guests at the discretion of the conference Committee and sponsoring entity. 
  • The advance registration fee is generally set lower than the on-site registration fee in order to stimulate advance registration.
  • A specific policy regarding refunds, including the advance program and other promotional material, should be established.

Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance

Due to international regulations mandated by MasterCard, Visa, and American Express, IEEE and its service providers must comply with PCI Data Security Standards.

In order to follow PCI compliance regulations, IEEE volunteers have limited options when not using PCI compliant third parties to process credit cards. The following methods are best practices.


  • Access to PCI compliant credit card processing software where the cardholder information is stored on the software company’s network. The Committee volunteer should only have access to the last four digits.
  • Manual processing options are acceptable.

Not acceptable:

  • Conference volunteers having any online access to credit card data, other than in the scenario listed above.
  • Conferences hiring non-compliant third-parties who electronically collect or store credit card information.
  • Conference volunteers opening up their own merchant accounts.  See IEEE’s Merchant Lending Program for alternatives.

Accepting credit cards for registration fees

It is important to understand exactly how credit card transactions should be managed:

  • Third-party contracts must clearly state all entities involved in handling and/or holding the conference’s credit card money. 
  • The third-party must be PCI compliant in order to process credit card transactions.
  • Request a copy of the company’s compliance certificate.
  • If the third party states they are compliant, but do not have a certificate, IEEE can screen them on your event’s behalf.
  • IEEE will also check for PCI compliance during contract review.
  • Ensure there are no pass through fees in the conference’s contract.

Merchant accounts

IEEE volunteers cannot set up merchant accounts under any circumstance.

IEEE has an established merchant account, and offers a merchant lending program which allows IEEE conferences and geographic units the use of this account under certain conditions.

If using a third-party, they must set up their own merchant account(s).

IEEE can give the third-party company access to the existing IEEE merchant accounts through the IEEE Merchant Lending Program. This requires that the the third-party is PCI compliant or that they meet certain criteria. 

Contact IEEE Conference Business Services
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